Environmental Protection workers in Ringwood, New Jersey, had a surprising problem to solve last week. It seems a six-month-old bear cub was a little overzealous while rooting through some trash, and found its head lodged in a large cookie jar.
Unfortunately, when rescuers approached, the 13-kilogram bear retreated up a tree, where the jar became wedged between two branches. Black bears are excellent climbers, and the instinct to take refuge in trees usually serves them well in times of danger.
Trapped 12 metres off the ground and unable to free itself, the bear was a heart-breaking sight.
Fortunately, the cub was finally rescued after Environmental Protection Department workers set up safety netting, tranquilized the bear, then carefully cut the jar off its head. These rescues can often be very tricky, requiring split-second reflexes to catch the falling animal.
The rescue operation was a success, and the young bear is alive and well. Hopefully it was taught a lesson about jars that even Winnie the Pooh only had to learn once.